Superyacht activity in Barcelona doubled in recent years. Although these figures slipped during the height of the pandemic, the Spanish capital is getting back to normal and bosses of Marina Port Vell and neighbouring refit yard MB92 are already prepared for a new influx of yacht visitors.
By ramping up their focus on superyachts, the team at Port Vell are set to encourage more than €29.7 million (a figure calculated in review of activity in 2018) worth of value to Barcelona’s economy. With an €80 million redevelopment and 158 berths ranging from five to 190 metres, the marina is already in a good position to see its economic contribution rise in coming years.
Some of the world's coolest superyachts have already been spotted in the area, including the 157-metre Dilbar, 119-metre Motor Yacht A and the 107-metre explorer yacht Ulysses. Thanks to MB92’s location in central Barcelona, these yachts have been able to take advantage of one of the largest superyacht refit facilities in the world and its top-tier services. For example, the yard's 4,800-tonne shiplift has already hauled out over 22 superyachts averaging 75 metres since its inauguration in August 2019. These clients have been granted more possibilities than ever before for superyacht work out of the water.
Whilst at MB92, yacht guests can also dose up on the Catalan culture, fine dining and classy cocktails that are all right on the yard’s doorstep. For those who have only a short time to get to know Barcelona, here’s how to make the most of the city.
Eating at DO, Plaça Reial, comes with a lovely old, Spanish feel. Before it gets busy, start the day inside the gastronomic boutique hotel looking out onto a beautiful square.
Head up to the Eixample district to see amazing modernist architecture and two of the best streets for art and design. Carrer Seneca is a square with plenty of interior design stores and Miquel Alzueta is the top gallery for contemporary artists and mid-century furniture. It is in a converted factory, hidden away down some steps which is often missed from the street. For good galleries, wander down Carrer d’Enric Granados, but be sure not to miss Fins De Siècles for a notable selection of art deco furniture and antiques.
Finish your walk at the Champagne & Oyster Bar inside the El Nacional, a trendy gourmet space tucked away down an alley. The former car park was restyled by local interior designer Lázaro Rosa Violán as a showcase of Barcelona during the 1930s and 1940s.
Lunch at Martínez in front of the Hotel Miramar comes with fantastic views of the port. The lunchtime menu begins with a delicious glass of vermouth to power you up for a wander to the Montjuïc area and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe to admire the architecture. The pavilion was originally designed by the famous architect in glass, steel and marble for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.
If you’re still feeling energetic, a walk up to the Monestir de Pedralbes is far from the madding crowds of the Gothic quarter and is one of Barcelona’s best-kept secrets. It’s a beautiful gothic monastery built in 1325 and one of the best examples of Catalan architecture.
Dinner & Cocktails
The Mercer is a restaurant within the Roman walls of the Mercer Hoteles surrounded by restored medieval frescoes. The menu is full of local produce and the perfect ending to such an evening can be a visit to one of Barcelona’s many buzzing cocktail bars. Look out for Boca Chica, Dry Martini and Ohla Boutique Bar.